Living Room

Aaron and I have both fallen down the mid-century modern hole, and it doesn’t look like we’re getting out any time soon.  Something about the simplicity, clean lines, skinny legs, warm wood that makes a heart flutter.  If we stay on this road, I’ll be cutting my hair into a bob, burning all my jeans, and changing my name to June before you know it.


Keep in mind, like the kitchen and breakfast nook, everything is still REALLY minimal.   We are still trying to figure out what we’d like to hang on the walls, coffee table vs ottoman, what curtains we want, and different lamp options.

We put our old couch from the basement at our old house in the living room and it was all wrong.  The shape of the sectional was wrong for the shape of the room, and it was too bulky looking.  And thus began the new couch hunt.

ugly couch

I set out for the post office one morning, and took a detour to IKEA.  And the heavens smiled down on me.  The floor model of Karlstad U-shaped sectional had just been moved off the show floor and down to AS-IS, and was marked down 40% from its original price.  I’ll take it!  I lived in a couch-maze for a week while I tried to quickly sell old beige.


I knew I wanted a Kilim rug for the living room.  I was able to find this one on Etsy for a screaming deal.


This couch fits the space SO much better than our old one.


For the living room, we plan on wall-mounting the TV.  I need to start looking for some good art as well.  I want to get curtains, but I’m not really sure if I want to go for something strong and bold, or something soft and subtle.  I also want to change out the lamp.

I bought this TV stand from and painted the shell bright high gloss white.  It wasn’t worth writing its own blog post.


I really like the view over the Karlstad into the kitchen, and visa versa.  It’s really nice to be able to work in the kitchen and watch Evelyn play.


Speaking of Evelyn playing… while I was shooting this space she decided it would be a good time to have a parade and walk around while clapping.  So of course, I needed to take a video of it.  It’s a pretty great way to spend 34 seconds.  She disappears for a second but then she comes back.

She and the dogs are both enjoying the new couch.




We are all extremely happy to have a place to relax at the end of the day.  It’s a place we enjoy being.  It’s good to be home.


Your DIY Wingback Rocking Chairs

One of my all time favorite projects is my DIY Wingback Rocker.

One year later it’s holding up like a champion of all chairs!  In fact, I’m writing this post sitting in this chair right now.  I’ve spent hundreds of hours rocking precious Evelyn Faye in this chair.

DIY Wingback Rocker

What I didn’t expect was how many people would follow my tutorial and make their own.  Some have blogs, and some don’t.  But the emails have poured in of your beautiful rockers, and I’m going to show them off!

This nursery is from a reader named Daniel.

DIY Rocking Chair

This is Chelsie’s nursery.

DIY Wingback Rocker

DIY Wingback Rocker

Cute mama-to-be!DIY Wingback Rocker

This rocker comes from nursery at The Shaker House.  They used a different chair than the Strandmon, and I think it looks awesome in the Marine Corps inspired room.

DIY Rocker - The Shaker House

DIY Wingback Rocker - The Shaker House

This rocker is from the outdoorsy nursery for Fletcher at 100layercakelet

DIY Rocker - 100layercakelet

DIY Wingback Rocker - 100 layer cakelet

This rocker is in the Modern Marine nursery at Newlyweds North.

DIY Rocker - Newlyweds North

rocker collage

And this last rocker is in the feminine travelesque nursery at Explore Dream Discover.

DIY Rocker - Explore Dream Discover



I love that even though these nurseries all have different themes and styles (I hope you clicked the links to check out the full rooms!!!) the rockers all fit in their element perfectly.

(If you pin these images, please click through and pin from the actual source.  Thanks!)





Purple and Gold Matryoshka Nursery

It’s nursery reveal day.  It’s embarrassing how long it took me to write this post.  We had the nursery done by Thanksgiving, but time just slipped away.  I’ll blame the tryptophan.

My client was very easy to work with on this project.  She had amazing taste.  Her communication was clear; she either kicked, or she didn’t.  Evelyn Faye is extremely pleased with the results.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

We’ve come a long way from when this room was the old-furniture-graveyard/Aaron’s office.

office room

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery


Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Like I mentioned in the Nesting Doll Mobile post, if you reach out to Etsy shop owners, they are often willing to do custom jobs for you.  I had this shop owner customize this print with a purple background special for the nursery.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

The adorable crocheted hedge hog pillow was made by Bethany of The Sepia Puppy.  And there’s Buster’s stuffed doppleganger.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

This matryoshka set was given to me by a close friend.  It came from Ukraine and belonged to her grandmother whose name was also Evelyn.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

My sister Gina gave me Pilot Barbie for Christmas the year I got my pilot’s licence.  I never knew what to do with it, until I had a nursery to decorate.  Now it belongs to Evelyn to remind her to always follow her dreams no matter how many people doubt you.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Homegirl has more clothes than I do.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

I mentioned in the Gallery Wall post that I was going to make some changes to it.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

I added this nesting doll wood cutout art made by Beth of Sawdust and Embryos.  There is nothing she can’t do with a scroll saw.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

It looks perfect in the mix of art! (Sources at the bottom of the post)

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

This quilt was made by Kim from Newly Woodwards.  Her quilting skillz run so deep.

Nesting Doll Quilt

It looks so beautiful on the back of the Wingback Rocker.

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Purple and Gold Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Nursery

Several people have asked me how the DIY Wingback Rocker has held up since July.  It is perfect.  I’ve never loved a piece of furniture more.  It rocks perfectly.  It is strong and sturdy.  It is extremely comfortable.  It’s easy to get in and out of.  It is perfect for nursing.  It works wonders when I need Evelyn to fall asleep.  I couldn’t be happier.  It’s calling in life was for the middle of the night.

Stranmon DIY Wingback Rocker

I love Evelyn’s nursery.  It is the best room in the house.  I chose purple and gold because those colors symbolize royalty.  I want her to always remember she is the daughter of a King.

Nursery Source List:

Rug:  Home Decorators Medina Over Dyed Rug 
Curtains:  IKEA Marjun modified (Tutorial here)
Light Fixture:  Hampton Bay Estelle Champagne
Chair: IKEA Strandmon + Runners (Tutorial here)
Nesting Doll Mobile:  Dolls (Tutorial here)
Crib:  IKEA Hensvik
Changing Table: IKEA Gulliver 
Bookcases: IKEA Billys + Paint (Tutorial here)
Lamp: Mainstays + Gold Spray Paint
Gallery Shelves:  IKEA Ribbas + Gold Spray Paint (Tutorial here)
Prints: (Left to right-top to bottom)
The Whale
Framed Nesting Doll Fabric
Camera Bunny
Lily – Clearance at Michael’s
Ewok – Aaron bought at Comic Con
Nesting Doll Wood – Beth, Sywoodink
Fisher Price Little People
Elephants In Easter Attire
“Beautiful Inside and Out” print

Board & Batten with a Sprinkle of New Furniture

This isn’t going to be an informative tutorial on how to install board and batten or baseboards.  Just an editorial of a ugly duckling turned swan.

We didn’t go with traditional baseboards because they are curved on top.  We knew we would be doing board and batten, so we wanted something flat to work with.

Primed MDF boards for baseboards and board and batten were the best route to go.  Baseboards are pretty easy.  Cut them on a 45 degree angle and use a brad nailer to secure them to the wall.  Easy.  That’s your baseboard tutorial.  End of tutorial.


My dad brought over his laser level to make sure my chalk line was straight.

Board and Batten

AS AN ARROW.  I don’t need no laser level.  I don’t want a part of your country club…

Board and Batten

The top rail was super easy.  My dad and I did it in an afternoon.  Same as baseboards.  Make cuts on a 45 degree level, and nail the to the wall.  Make sure they’re level.  End of top rail tutorial.

Board and Batten

The slats were easy too.  Measure, make straight cuts, put some calking glue on the back, level them, and nail.  End of tutorial.

Board and Batten

Look how wicked cool my dad is.  He’s all the good parts of Norm Abrams mixed with a dash of Bob Villa, and the good looks of Scott McGillivray.  But most importantly, he’s a bunch of fun wrapped in layers of awesome dad jokes.  Like your resident Phil Dunphy.  I’m always the luckiest when him and Aaron team up on projects.

Board and Batten

And for dramatic purposes…  Here’s the difference simple board and batten molding can make.  Before.  (Oh hi Chester!  Welcome to the living room.  Hope you like our bums your new family!)

Board and Batten

(It was a rainy day=bad bad light.  Sars not sars.)

Board and Batten

So much pretty.  We did our boards 30″ apart.  I think 2 and a half feet was the perfect spacing for the scale of the room.

Board and Batten

And the stairs wall before (including the coconut gumball light) …


A sexy after (with the orb-licious light).

Board and Batten

Oh, and we got our new couch and rug.  This trunk came from grandma’s garage.  And those chairs are borrowed from the basement.  We’re trying to decide if we want them to live upstairs, or if we’re still going to shop for the perfect piece.  So far, nothing has jumped out.  The trunk is going to get a better “coffee table makeover,” including legs and glass.  But for now, it’s a good place to toss your tired feet.

Board and Batten

Oh, and the board and batten isn’t 100% done.  It needs to be caulked and painted still.  But, you know, I really just couldn’t wait.  You know, bloggers and their patience.  Do those words even belong in a sentence together?

And for the sake of drama, this picture was begging to be included.

Board and Batten

Can you believe how far we’ve come?!  We are almost done-sies.  Seriously, we have TWO inside things left to do.  TWO.

Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

New roof 

-Build new fence (STILL in progress!  But the leveling, post setting, and retaining wall part is done.  It should be a breeze from here on out)

Paint ceiling & walls

Install flooring 

Baseboards + board & batten

-Build new banister (Newel post is in, if you gathered that from the pictures above)

Counter top install

Back splash (Tile and supplies are bought, just need to do it!)

High/Low Project: Dining Set

Hey friends.  I’m pretty behind on blogging.  But I’ll do my best to catch you up quickly to where we’re at.  Think of this as your DVR’ed IBK.  You can even fast forward the commercials.

Do you ever get stuck when it comes to designing a room?  I have one philosophy that always rings true.  A good design is a mix of high and low price items.  Oh the things you learn from Sabrina Soto.

We had this outrageously large 8-seater dining table… for 2 people.  We didn’t need it, and most importantly, it wasn’t fitting well in our space.

Dining Room - Before

Now I have a confession.  Where did this table come from?  It came with our house.  For those of you newbies to the blog, our house was previously owned by The Salvation Army.  If that doesn’t make us the ultimate thrift shoppers, I don’t know what does 😉  Macklemore would be proud.  The Salvation Army left this table behind, and for the past 2 years we’ve been using it.

But with our huge changes being made upstairs, we knew it was time for a new table.  We listed our dining set on the classifieds and were able to get $500 for it.

Table shopping isn’t like couch shopping.  You have the option to either DIY it, or buy it.  I knew I would get flack for being the world’s worst DIY blogger by not building our own amazing farmhouse table or refinishing something from the 90’s into something rustic.  But it just wasn’t going to happen.  We still have SO much to finish with our open concept reno, AND the baby coming, AND my rough pregnancy.  So buying a ready-to-go table was the plan.

Our requirements:
-Must be solid wood
-Must be round
-Must be durable

Sounds easy.  But our search was bringing EXPENSIVE results.  Sure there are affordable dining set options, but they are particle board covered in veneer.  So we realized we were going to be realistic with our table budget.  $1000.  Couldn’t find anything that I liked online, Amazon, Overstock, Ebay (and so on).  The big box furniture stores had dining sets, but they weren’t quite the right style I wanted.  This one was $1134.

RC Willey Dining Set

Ug.  No.  Just not the right style.

If you know anything about me you know that I would move into Restoration Hardware if it weren’t illegal.  I wanted so badly to look at their tables, but you know, when you think Restoration Hardware, you think a gazillion dollars.  But I have the self control of Honey Boo Boo, and I looked anyway.

And I found this table for $845!  And Restoration Hardware is always having some kind of sale.  At this time, it was 20% off your purchase.  Hello perfect table for $676.

RH Table

I was able to score a brand-new, in the package stain-resistant rug on the classifieds for $50.  And I bought a set of 4 dining chairs on for $262.99 (which is cheaper than the similar IKEA chairs we were looking at!).  That brought our entire dining set to a total price of $988.99.

RH’s “white glove delivery service” brought this baby over and put it just where I wanted.  And then they warned me.  “This water stains VERY easily.”  So the panic set in.  NO ONE was allowed to use the table until we got a piece of glass for the top.

Restoration Hardware 17th C Monastery Round Table

I started calling around to different glass shops.  Why has no one told me how expensive GLASS is?!  The quotes were from $170-290 and going to take 3-5 weeks to be manufactured.  I was so confused because, this was a pretty standard shape and size.  48″ circle.  ???

So I took to the classifieds, and found a lady selling this table:

Restoration Hardware 17th C Monastery Round Table

I called the lady to see if the glass came apart from the base, and if it was in good condition.  I told her I just wanted to buy the glass.  And she sold it to me for $50!

Restoration Hardware 17th C Monastery Round Table

Now we can eat comfortably.  Not that this wasn’t comfortable…

Restoration Hardware 17th C Monastery Round Table

But this was much better.

Restoration Hardware 17th C Monastery Round Table

And of course, it was absolutely perfect for my birthday dinner of Karl’s homemade bbq chili.

Restoration Hardware 17th C Monastery Round Table

We have the light fixture that we’re going to hang over the table, but we haven’t hung it yet.  We’re making sure the table is in the exact spot it will live before we center the light above it.  The room is really starting to come together.  The baseboards are almost finished, which means the board and batten will be done soon too.  That will probably be the next post I write 🙂  So stay tuned, fine people of the interweb.

Oh, and keep your eyes out for this fall pumpkin project I’ll be a part of!  Hopefully you’ll come back with your pumpkin posts ready to link on up.

Fall Pumpkin Parade

IKEA Hack: Strandmon Rocker {DIY Wingback Rocking Chair}


Today’s post brings me great pleasure to share!  It’s a secret project I’ve been working on since I was 7 weeks pregnant.

It is my first DIY project for baby Crowder.  (First person to come up with a solid nickname for the IBK Fetus gets a prize!)  I’ve always been in love with wingback rockers.  But dang gina.  You might as well trade your first born child for one, and then, what’s the point?!  haha.  The rocker on the left came from Nurseryworks, and the rocker on the right is from Pottery Barn Kids.

DIY Wingback RockerAnd then, it hit me hard like my pregnant emotions during country music.  I could EASILY make my own wingback rocker.  All I would need to do is find a wingback chair, and some rocking chair runners.  It was so simple.  I thought “surely, this has been done a million times.”  But I googled it hard, and didn’t find anything on the matter.  (But in the Internet’s defense, my googling skillz are weak like a teenage girl at a One Direction concert.)

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Deconstructed Ottoman

I’m really excited about today’s post.  We have a guest post brought to us from Jen of The Yellow Brick Cottage.  She is showing us something that she hasn’t even shown on HER blog yet!  Do you feel special?  You should.  Jen is hilarious.  You need to start reading her blog.  She’s incredibly honest and un-sugarcoated.  She knows how to turn a salmonella-carrying reptile into a Ninja Turtle, which is a cooler thing than lemons into lemonade.

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